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Five wins out of eight races and 38 points – one more than Stienes Longin had in 2016 – on second-place make Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) the undisputed favorite in the chase for the ELITE 2 Division title as the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series heads to the Autodromo di Franciacorta, Italy for the September 16-17 Semi Finals, but life will not be easy for the French driver as seven different drivers have led laps in the regulars season in the most unpredictable division of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Fresh of his 20th birthday, Ferrando is now the winningest driver in ELITE 2 Division history and never finished outside the top-10, but will have to face a strong opposition. Brazilian Felipe Rabello (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) holds second place and the lead in the Rookie Cup after winning two races in his oval debut at Venray and has a 2-point advantage on Ulysse Delsaux (#3 RDV Compétition Toyota Camry). The Frenchman won his first NASCAR race in Valencia and earned his first pole position at Hockenheim, representing a constant threat for the win at wheel of the #3 RDV Competition Toyota Camry.
Two more outstanding rookies close a very young top-5: Maciej Dreszer, who led laps for the first time in an eventful Round 7 at Hockenheim driving for DF1 Racing and PK Carsport’s Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), whose winning hopes went up in smoke two times while dominating at Venray. Both showed they have the pace to contend and will look for their first win in the playoffs.
After scoring the first two top-5s of his NASCAR career at Venray, one of which was a fantastic second place in an all Brazilian one-two finish behind Rabello, Marconi Abreu (#47 RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) sits sixth in points, 15 marks ahead of a Gil Linster who recorded 3 consecutive top-5s in the second part of the regular season. The Luxembourgish driver is followed by two more young rising talents in Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) – the Frenchman got his first career top-5 at Venray – and Justin Kunz (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS).
Dario Caso (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) leads the Legend Trophy classification in 10th place with just 11 points on his teammate Simone Laureti (#7 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) and archrival Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang).
With two top-10 finishes, Carmen Boix Gil (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) has been the strongest force in the Lady Cup. The Valencia native is 12th in points and leads Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) by 24 marks.
All the ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 races from the Autodromo di Franciacorta will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page.
NASCAR GP OF ITALY - Semi Finals
SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES ARE CET)
Friday, September 15
12:15 – 12:45 Elite 1 PRACTICE (30 min)
12:50 – 13:20 Elite 2 PRACTICE (30 min)
15:00 – 15:30 Elite 1 FINAL PRACTICE (30 min)
15:35 – 16:05 Elite 2 FINAL PRACTICE (30 min)
Saturday, September 16
10:00 – 10:08 Elite 1 QUALIFYING (8 min)
10:12 – 10:17 Elite 1 SUPERPOLE (5 min)
10:23 – 10:31 Elite 2 QUALIFYING (8 min)
10:35 – 10:40 Elite 2 SUPERPOLE (5 min)
13:30 – 14:10 Elite 1 RACE 1 ELITE 1 (25 LAPS – 63.00 Km)
17:30 – 18:10 Elite 2 RACE 1 ELITE 2 (25 LAPS – 63.00 Km)
Sunday, September 17
10:30 – 11:10 Elite 2 RACE 2 ELITE 2 (25 LAPS – 63.00 Km)
14:30 – 15:10 Elite 1 RACE 2 ELITE 1 (25 LAPS – 63.00 Km)